Expert discusses role of scientists in public discourse

Science philosopher Philip Kitcher will discuss new approaches to public discourse on climate change, bioethics and other controversial issues, February 28 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His lecture, “Dissent: The Role of Scientists and Dissenters in Public Debates” is set for 5:30 pm in Murray Hall 202G, part of the science complex west of Polk Place.

Philip Kitcher

Kitcher’s presentation is for the Michael Polanyi Lecture in the History and Philosophy of Natural Science in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Kitcher is the John Dewey Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University. He is the author of a dozen books including Science in a Democratic Society (Prometheus Books, 2011).  Reviewer Michael Strevens, a New York University professor of philosophy, called the book “essential reading for anyone interested in science, science policy or the future of the human race.”

A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Kitcher was the first recipient of the Prometheus Prize, awarded in 2006 by the American Philosophical Association for “lifetime contributions to expanding the frontiers of research in philosophy and science.”

The Polanyi lecture honors the late chemist and author Michael Polanyi, who explored the groundwork of knowledge and the psychology of perception. The lecture is supported by an endowment funded by the late UNC physics professor Waldo Haisley and his wife, Doris Weaver Haisley.

Public parking is available in pay lots on Rosemary Street.